The proposal has however stirred controversy and confusion as to exactly how the government will effect the tax.
Some people have chosen to call it an internet tax, for failure to comprehend how the government will distinguish between internet use for research and other uses as opposed to internet for social media; labelled as internet for gossip purposes.
But according to experts from the Ministry of Finance, the government has the gadgets to monitor internet use for social media as opposed to other internet usages.
Francis Twinamatsiko, the Acting Commissioner in the Tax Policy Department in the Ministry of Finance, revealed that the government procured a gadget that is able to monitor whichever gadget logs on to the internet and for what purpose.
“We procured an equipment that should be able to differentiate between use of the internet for a Whatsapp call, message, Viber and Facebook. The machine will clearly decompose the daily internet use for social media as opposed to other uses,” said Twinamatsiko.
Twinamatsiko further notes that the tax measure is targeting telecom companies, although they will also likely shift the burden onto the consumers.
The tax measure will target all devices that use sim cards to access internet. It means that the tax is not restricted to smart phone users, but also all those users that access internet using a gadget that uses a sim, such as a dongle or router.
The government anticipates that the Social Media Tax will generate some UGX270 billion every year by ensuring that every user pays a charge of UGX200 for accessing social media patforms.
Another expert from the Ministry of Finance who preferred anonymity, further explains that the moment someone will log into an application or a website categorised as social media, the Telecom company will be required to remit UGX200 for that particular user.
“What this means is that when you purchase a bundle for normal internet access, the moment you log into a social media app or website, the bundle will run faster.”